sister advice for choosing college

To My Little Sister, As She's Choosing A College To Call Home

There is no right answer, but the one that aligns closely with your heart. There's no secret to choosing. It's all just you. Believe in your choice.

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Recently, my little sister has been applying to colleges. It's hard not to put my two cents in on the place I envision where her next four years would be. I know though that ultimately the decision is one that she must make for herself because, in the end, the experience is all her own. So to my sister choosing a college, this one is for you.

Dear Sis,

I envy the position you're in right now. You quite literally have the world at your fingertips and the ability to choose your destination of happiness for the next four years.

College isn't like high school. You see, high school wasn't a choice. It was part of the plan that came with where you lived and so are the people that go there with you. College is so much different. You are gifted with the presence of so many different individuals from many different cities, states and sometimes even countries. They all made a choice like you. One different from high school. One that allowed them the freedom to be where they are.

Four years in college is like a really long movie. There are ups and downs and definitely some climaxes, but even though the movie says it's going to be long, once you get to the end you can't help but want to replay.

Find a college that's worth the replay.

Find a place that speaks to who you are and who you eventually want to become. In four years, your entire life will change. You will realize your self-worth. The worth that no high school boy or award could give you.

You will make meaningful friendships that aren't strengthened by rumors and drama, but by support and adventure. You will seek to travel. You will find comfort in being alone to find yourself. You will find comfort being with others that will help you find you. College is like a growth spurt on steroids. You change so much in four years you have to wonder why it took so long to learn everything you knew before.

As a senior in college now, I only hope you find what I did. A place that I love that loves me back. I hope you find somewhere that gives meaning to the life you live now and your future aspirations. I hope you find somewhere with the best library to study for the hard exams. I hope you meet the friends that you deserve to have.

I found that all in a place I call home. Home is where your heart lies. It's not where I went or where you think you need to be. Home is where the comfort of leaving a life you knew seems easier because you know you will be in a place for YOU.

After four years, I can't help but cry. Not because I had a bad experience, but because I fell in love with a place that I got to choose. I fell in love with life as I hope you do too. The world is at your fingertips and I hope you make the next four years a world worth being part of and just remember home isn't about the house you grow up in. Home is about the love and laughter that bind people together.

We will always share one home already, but now it's time you choose a home for yourself.

I found mine. I know you will find yours. Don't sweat it.

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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An Open Letter To Older Brothers, With All The Things Your Younger Brothers Won't Admit

This is what everyone with older brothers won't admit, so I'll do it for us all.

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Older Brothers:

As we get older, we definitely begin to grasp at the importance of our relationship with each other. More specifically, the path of substantial growth that develops and unfolds as we get older bewilders us, yet we find ourselves elated with the direction that it is taking. Although we used to unconditionally hate each other, times change substantially the older we become.

We all truthfully appreciate the weight of the growth more than you do, and we'll explain why further in this letter alongside the stages of our relationship.

Ironically, it is very hysterical to think as far back as we can remember to when we were little kids. We definitely caused our parents to be overwhelmed with extraordinary stress, but it did not matter to us. The first stage of our relationship was as innocent and peaceful as could be, at least before the storm arrives later on. We truly appreciate engaging in nothing but fun with you. You were our first tour guide in the world, and your hobbies became ours. We could often be found disappearing into endeavors, on a life or death mission as we saw it.

Simply put, we were in it together, whatever it was.

Even with small and insignificant bickering every once in a while, it never amounted to anything terrible. All we cared about was exploding with our energy and breaking the ornery meter with you. Thank you for embracing this first stage of enjoyment with us. It seemed to pass by incredibly fast, especially with stage two of our relationship on the horizon.

Stage two was a huge love-hate time. It was also by far the most growthful and helpful time for us, even though it certainly did not seem that way. As we entered into our pre-teens and then into middle school, all we cared about was undermining you. For some reason that we really do not know how to explain, we attempted to find an edge.

Stage two of our relationship was filled with fighting that usually ended in us losing. This specifically helped us to learn how to deal with crap. You also had all your high school friends more or less beat us up. You also always expected us to be at our best. As you progressed through high school, we were beginning to learn it all. This is where the love of love-hate came into play. Although we also never explicitly understood or acknowledged it, you inspired us. Being older, you had already experienced a lot and helped us through the worst.

Stage two was definitely a rollercoaster of love-hate (more hate in our minds), but we later learned you were dope.

In the final stage of growth in our relationship, we learned that we had and have a built-in forever best friend relationship. In our late high school years, college, and beyond, we finally realized the impact you had on us. You are honestly probably happier than us that we finally grew up, but we never admit we were and are the perfect duo, two peas in a pod. We grew up together and experienced a lot. So here's to us, even though we will always be better than you.

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